Removing tile


I have a house built in the 1950s with plaster walls. The kitchen has yellow tile on the walls that extends from the countertop to the bottom of the cabinets. The wife wants something different. The tile guy says the old tile has to be removed before anything new can be put up.
Any advice on how to do this without destroying more of the wall than necessary?
Would something like this work? http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber2940
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snipped-for-privacy@erols.com wrote:

My experience is that air impact hammers give such poor control that it would totally trash your wall. Way too much power for the job.
I used a 2-3" flat bladed "scraper" (like a putty knife, only much thicker and beveled edge), tapping the end of the scraper with a hammer lightly at the edge of each tile to pop them loose on my current project. I then scraped the residue with a carbide paint scraper and filled gouges with joint compound.
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I had no luck. The wallboard is the weakest part of the whole thing. It's gets broken and gouged up.
Eventually I took down the top and base cabinets. Then ran a cicular saw horizontally above and below the tile. Took out the wall board with tile. Good thing is the cabinets cover most of the replacement wallboard seam so I didn't have to do a great job there.
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snipped-for-privacy@erols.com wrote:

We remodeled our kitchen 3 or 4 years ago. We did cab. refacing, new doors and drawers on our built-in-place plywood cabinets. When faced with the problem of old metal tiles on backsplash above cooktop, we were stumped. Didn't want to destroy the wall OR put up ceramic, as I don't want grout splashed with spaghetti sauce. The metal tiles were very secure, but the paint in bad shape and rubbed off in many places. Our solution was to cover the metal tile with laminate the color of the walls (could be any style, pattern or color). Then got some bamboo patterned glass, got it cut and tempered, and installed glass to cover the laminate. Installed the glass, patterned side toward the wall, so that it is a snap to clean, adds pattern and looks pretty cool in the way it reflects light. Since the pattern is bamboo, we couldn't install it sideways to fit a 5 or 6' space, so it is in two sections. The edges were ground slightly and sealed, along with perimeter, with clear silicone. Just had to brace it with 2x4's until the silicone caulk cured. The total cost of the glass, including sending it back to mfg. to be tempered, was about $50. If we tire of it, no big deal to remove it. The laminate was put up (bought scrap at HD) by contractor with contact cement. There are a number of cool patterns in glass, as well as colored glass that can be sandblasted. The wall behind our cooktop doesn't get very hot, which was an initial concern - if I cooked with gas and had a pot too close to the wall, the glass might become a lot hotter and be subject to breakage. If I was doing it again, I might put wallpaper behind the glass or use a "tech look" wire glass.
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Handymanguru had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Removing-tile-396501-.htm :
You should not be concerned about destroying the wallboard behing the tiles. As you will be covering it up with new tiles you will only have to provide a rough backer for the new tiles. Even drywall in pieces is fine. You must only insure that there is no movement in the backer before reinstall. If there is a sink you may consider using a aquaboard to inhibit the growth of mould. Also, be sure to cut the extent of where the new tiles will end so that you will have no patching and overlap your last tile over the joint. Follow me on twitter with all of your construction question @ twitter.com/handymanguru
snipped-for-privacy@erols.com wrote:

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I have used that tool to remove tile from a concrete floor. I would not use it on a wall.
I use a prybar like http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber%29
and a hammer. The curved part is used as a chisel and when tapped with the hammer pries the tile loose. If they are not soundly attached you can use the other end and no hammer.
Be sure to wear leather gloves as the flying chips can be quite sharp. If the plaster is otherwise sound you will only have to patch a few divots. The surface does not have to be that smooth for new tile.
Now if you are real unlucky the stuff will be mudset, they still did that some in the 50's, and you will have to remove all the plaster and a couple of tons of mortar.
Colbyt
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Bob F has the right suggestion. Sometimes they come off easy, sometimes not so much.
Best if you can start where there is no tile and work from there. If not try and chisel some grout out around one tile and pry against an adjacent tile to pop it out.
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Bob F was right. I bought a 4" thin fairly sharp putty knife on the recommendation of the guy at Lowe's and it slides right under these babies and off they come intact. At least the first four did. ;-)
Thanks for all the excellent advice.
Now can someone tell me how I can get my wife to make up her mind on the cabinets, appliances, counter tops,etc?
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